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Today's word on journalism

February 17, 2009

Why I miss my hate mail:

"It's an odd thing to admit, but in a perverse sort of way, I actually miss the wretched river, the rancid flow of puerile, nasty, sickeningly homophobic email I used to receive on a regular basis from the ultra-right and the Christian right and the Mormon right and the Bush-impaired whenever I would post a friendly, pointed column full of tangy liberal attitude. . . . . Oh, I miss all the lovely and positive email too, which outpaced the nasty stuff by a huge margin. But the hate mail was very special indeed, great fodder for live readings, for the reaction of horrified disbelief of anyone who saw it, for the charming reminder of just how ugly and violent and grammatically challenged the human animal can be."

--Mark Morford, columnist, (2/13/09)

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Unemployed and strapped for cash? You're not alone!

By Kandice Crompton

January 22, 2009 | Within a month of my 16th birthday I joined the ranks of employed Americans. The longest I've been without a job since then is two weeks. I worked 30 hours a week while I was in high school. I worked 40 hours a week my freshman year of college. Yet, for the last month I have been unemployed. No one will hire me.

My last day of work was Christmas Eve. I had to quit when I found out that the courses I was required to take this semester were only offered during my working hours. I started looking for a job immediately. I can't count the number of jobs I have applied for, from telephone call-centers, retail stores and cleaning centers. You know it's a bad sign when you can't even get a job at a call-center.

Several months ago, when I realized that with a new semester I may be needing a new job, I talked to a friend of mine, who, for the sake of his own job, we shall call Fred. Fred is a supervisor at a business that employees about 40 people. He is involved in hiring at this company and thought he would be able to swing some things my way. However, instead of helping me get a job, Fred has had to lay off seven employees in the last five weeks. According to him, his company may not even be hiring for the summer.

Other friends have had similar problems. A friend of mine employed at a restaurant has been affected by the sudden drop in people eating out. She says that not only have the numbers of customers dropped, but the tips as well. Another has, like me, had to move back in with her parents because of her inability to find a job. While I do feel bad for these other people, it makes me feel a bit better to know that I am not alone.

I didn't think the weak economy would hurt me this way. Sure, tuition would rise and textbook prices would remain high, but I have a scholarship to handle that. What I didn't expect was the sudden need to move back in with my parents to save on rent money. I didn't expect my spring break plans to change from a tropical cruise or beach vacation to possibly staying in a hostel in Boise. I especially didn't expect that my sushi intake would be cut so drastically.

If you too are jobless and basically cashless, know that you are not alone. Maybe we could start a support group, help each other through this difficult time. But if we do, we'll have to meet at my parents' house. I can only afford to drive my car to campus and back once a day.


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